Importance Of Harassment Policy And Training: 5 Benefits
The importance of harassment policy and training in a workplace has grown over the years. Workplace harassment occurs when employees are subjected to discrimination, isolation, or exploitation by management or coworkers. Following Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the United States encourages respectful workplaces. It combats all types of workplace harassment based on sex, race, national origin, and religion.
One of the most effective methods to safeguard your workers and everyone else in your company from harassment is to provide mandatory and ongoing anti-harassment training.
What is Anti-Harassment Training?
Employers give anti-harassment training to their workers to inform them about undesirable workplace behavior. This training is intended to minimize workplace harassment and promote a welcoming environment for employees to avoid being put in awkward circumstances.
Harassment centered on an individual's looks, sexual preference, relationship status, handicap, religion or political affiliation, or other personal opinions falls within the harassment umbrella. In fact, harassment based on one's age, nationality, background, education, personal history, or physical appearance is inappropriate and can lead to harassment claims.
Benefits of Harassment Training
Harassment in the workplace jeopardizes the corporate performance and well-being of employees. Address the problem quickly as feasible, and use effective policies, treatments, and online training to avoid it. Here are some of the advantages of workplace training seminars.
- Increase the feeling of safety among employees
The purpose of harassment training is to modify employee attitudes toward those they work with. Proper training may help workers feel comfortable at work. Training employees on how to stand up when they see sexual harassment may help establish an attitude of responsibility for maintaining a safe workplace environment. Furthermore, it may assist everyone in comprehending the significance of a harassment-free environment.
- Inform employees about valuable resources
Harassment training in the workplace informs employees of the resources available to them in a crisis. According to research, excessive demands from management, poor stress management, and a lack of behavior training are the most prevalent problems that should be resolved by primary policy and training. The training clearly identifies options that can assist with the employee's emotional and physical well-being without business intervention.
- Compliance with the laws
Even if an organization has employees working in certain jurisdictions that have no harassment restrictions, harassment is prohibited across the United States. Organizations in certain states and cities protect their non-employees, contractors, and vendors from harassment through training. This makes companies that don't give training, even more susceptible. Employer risk can be considerably reduced by ensuring that workers recognize or are introduced to the details of these rules.
- Reduced turnover and increased employee retention
Staff turnover, safety mishaps, and quality difficulties are all consequences of low employee engagement. Employees do not prefer to operate in a toxic work environment or tolerate harassment in the workplace, which leads to higher turnover and expenses. Hence, training helps increase employee satisfaction, productivity, and profitability and tackles absenteeism.
- Building a gender-friendly workplace
The focus of the training is to increase gender awareness among the staff members. It should encourage the team members to behave in a way that does not damage their sentiments. Employees are inspired to implement programs that emphasize group sessions and free discussion due to the training. It enables employees to learn what constitutes unacceptable behavior and which acts may be considered threatening. Harassment training that overlooks this topic may result in unspoken limits and avoidable stress among your employees.
Why are Anti-Harassment Policies Necessary?
Mutual trust, understanding, and no tolerance for intimidation, pressure, and exploitation, should define the workplace environment. Implementing a sexual harassment policy as an employer is critical for preventing improper conduct and protecting oneself if it occurs at your business.
Any staff member or company employee who violates these policies will be penalized appropriately. Discipline may include a verbal and written warning, suspension, or dismissal of service, depending on the severity of the offense.
A robust anti-harassment policy is a powerful deterrent. You're creating awareness and signaling that sexual harassment will not be accepted by having a documented policy that prohibits it, outlines behavior that might be considered harassment, and gives workers options to report harassment.
What Should the Anti-Harassment Policy Include?
A sexual harassment policy can be designed in a variety of ways. It's possible that the policy could need to be adjusted to match the specifics of your business and employees. Here are some critical components of a company sexual harassment policy:
- Include the definition of the behavior
Your policy should describe sexual harassment in detail, including all its aspects. Include how Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual behavior that causes a person to feel insulted, embarrassed, or intimidated. Additionally, instances of banned conduct should be included in the policy, including sexual comments, tales, jokes, and human contact like caressing or pinching.
- Include a means for reporting
When all sexual harassment complaints are directed to a single supervisor, and that manager is harassing the victim, the defendant has no recourse. Always create regulations that allow for many reporting options. For example, assign numerous staff people and a representative of human resources to receive complaints.
- Include standard procedure
What happens if an employee breaches the set of guidelines or harassment policy? It should be stated clearly how they will be subject to penalty. How detailed the actions have to be is entirely up to the policymakers of the organization. However, it is advised to structure out a clear policy. This helps companies not to be paralyzed if a complaint about the same individual is filed for the 10th time and gives them a procedure to follow, like termination.
- Include a thorough reporting process in your plan
Employees must be motivated to report sexual harassment if they believe or witness it. Also, employees should be encouraged to report any such activity they've observed, as well as any reliable evidence of such conduct. Managers and supervisors must take all accusations seriously, and the policy should clearly state this. It's better for the company to know than to remain in the dark, and it's ideal for inspiring employees to report anything suspicious.
- Include the Anti-retaliation regulations
When management (or someone else) dismisses, demotes, or harasses anyone for making a complaint or standing up against discrimination, this is known as retaliation. Retaliation for either first-party or bystander complaints should not be accepted, and it must be communicated clearly and firmly.
- Include non-disclosure clause
Although organizations can't guarantee absolute secrecy, they can ensure that grievances will be processed as discreetly as possible and that personal information shall be kept private.
In a Nutshell
Investing in training and cultivating an atmosphere of compassion and anti-harassment may provide significant results, such as increased performance and motivation and less money spent on legal representation, all of which contribute to a healthy bottom line. Workers and supervisors develop a perspective of accountability due to appropriate training. It contributes to creating a workplace that values and respects the sentiments and beliefs of its employees.
Additionally, it contributes to developing a gender-neutral and gender-friendly workplace culture. Workers must be educated to notice and report these incidents and realize that they must act appropriately when dealing with everyone.